The benefits of learning and higher education are numerous -- not the least of which is bigger pay cheques.
That's the message Lindsay Radun wanted to impart to her 12-year-old son when she showed him one of the books she used to earn her General Education Diploma (GED). It included a chart showing how income increases with levels of education.
According to Statistics Canada, high-income Canadians tend to be highly educated. More than two-thirds of those earning more than $80,000 annually held post-secondary degrees. Those with higher educations also have lower levels of unemployment.
"I want my children to know how important education is," said Lindsay who is one this year's Education WORKS Champions. "I want them to know, especially seeing how hard I worked to get mine."
Lindsay, 35, was home schooled until Grade 11 when she said a lack of self-discipline caused her to become frustrated and give up her studies.
She moved to Croatia where she met and married her husband. She then divided the next decade living in Canada and Croatia. She spent some time working in agriculture and, for a year, attended bible school. She became fluent in Croatian.
When Lindsay returned to Canada with her family, including her husband and three children, she was anxious to go back to school.
"Being in Croatia made me realize how much opportunity we have in this country and that we can't take education for granted."
Lindsay, a Simcoe resident, was referred to Literacy and Basic Skills by Employment Ontario employment services at Fanshawe College in Simcoe. She earned her GED in 2014 and an Academic and Career Entrance certificate.
"I had no idea how hard it would be," she said. "But I'm very motivated when I set my mind to it."
Fanshawe's Tracey McIntyre, who nominated Lindsay as an Education Champion, said Lindsay's career goals had been derailed by mental health issues as a teen.
"As a stablized adult, she renewed her passion for following her dreams. She has orchestrated her own future and used various programs and services to assist her as needed along the way."
Lindsay says the highs and lows she experiences with bipolar disorder help her relate to others with mental health issues. That is insight she plans to use as a registered practical nurse. She has applied to practical nursing programs at four colleges and hopes to begin her studies in September.
Lindsay said the tutoring she received was essential to her learning as was the support of her family and church.